Total number of Covid-19 deaths in India officially tops 250,000
About 370,000 new cases added in last 24 hours, pushing overall total past 23 million
A family member carries an urn containing ashes from the remains of a Covid-19 victim at an open crematorium on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Karnataka state, India. Photograph: Aijaz Rahi/AP Photo
Indian health chiefs have confirmed another 4,205 coronavirus deaths, setting another daily record and taking its official Covid-19 toll past 250,000 as it battles a surge in infections.
About 370,000 new cases were added in the last 24 hours, pushing India’s total past 23 million, according to the health ministry.
The figures are considered vast undercounts due to insufficient testing and records, among other factors.
On Tuesday, authorities warned that nearly 90 per cent of districts in the country are seeing a high positivity rate, sparking fears the coronavirus is spreading to India’s rural areas faster than it did during a surge last year.
Infections have swelled in India since February in a disastrous turn blamed on more contagious variants as well as the government’s decision to allow massive crowds to gather for religious festivals and political rallies.
Even though daily cases have shown early signs of flattening, experts have cautioned authorities not to let down their guard.
With nearly four million cases still active, health care systems remain strained with limited hospital beds, oxygen and medicine.
Many states have imposed their own restrictions to curb infections, and the southern state of Telangana became the latest to announce a 10-day lockdown on Tuesday.
Pressure has been mounting for a nationwide lockdown.